How an employee of the lowest level, someone nearly invisible, can suddenly become a destructive force that is dangerous to the public? Director Oskaras Koršunovas and actor Eimantas Pakalka look for the answer to this question in their one-man show “The Diary of a Madman” based on the short story of the same name by the Ukrainian classic Nikolai Gogol. The story written in the nineteenth century is more than ever relevant at the beginning of the twenty-first.
“A man who desperately seeks to be normal and tries with all his force to be like everyone else, inevitably loses his identity. Paradoxically, however, as he loses his own identity, he becomes more and more radical – having invested so much of himself in normality, he is no longer able to tolerate strangeness. Strange people and freaks now become his enemy. He sees strangeness in even the simplest things. A person who has blended into the society like a chameleon to a point of dissolving in it, someone who has lost himself becomes a megalomaniac who poses danger to the society.” – Oskaras Koršunovas explains the idea of the performance.
The director says that the mechanism of the play fascinates him, because it enables the lowest clerk to end up making schemes worthy of the biggest dictators of the world. More than that, this matrix still works very well.
“In the story, it is the mechanism that is interesting to me, when a simple public servant winds up making plans worthy of Napoleon or Hitler. Gogol presents this in a unique way. We just need to understand that this mechanism does not belong to the madman or to the age of Gogol – this matrix is within us and it’s always been there. It is a prophetic story about the very genesis of fascism, which originates from order and justice, about their perversity, which leads to megalomania, the desire to change the world, and ultimately, to total madness. This happened with the biggest dictators of the twentieth century. Now the whole world is clearly becoming more and more puritanical, we tend to standardize everything. In our political space, normality turns into perverse decisions based on suspicion. Thus even the smallest crumble can grow into a giant all-crushing stone of “justice”. Says Koršunovas.
According to the director, Eimantas Pakalka is an exceptional actor and only such actors able to tackle “The Diary of a Madman”.
“Eimantas Pakalka is an extremely talented actor, and only such actors are able to take up “The Diary of a Madman”. So far, only very talented actors, such as Valentinas Masalskis, Dainius Kazlauskas and Vainius Sodeika have worked with this material in Lithuania. The scope of this role is extremely wide. All these actors have some sort of essential charisma, a unique nature.” Says Oskaras Koršunovas.
2017 December 8